Microfluidics with fluid walls for cancer and neuronal research

   Department of Engineering Science

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Project overview


The studentship is based in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford and the studentship time will be shared between engineering and biology labs.

Micro-environments fabricated with fluid walls represent a new direction in the generation of biocompatible, fully accessible, microfluidic systems which enables unique experiments with living cells. The approach has been successfully demonstrated across a multitude of biological applications with a diverse range of multidisciplinary collaborators; applications include cell migration, chemotaxis, wounding, cell line development, single-cell cloning and microscale perfusion. Articles are published with “open access” and hence are freely available.

This project will advance the engineering understanding of fluid walls by developing, and experimentally validating, models for prediction of flows that vary with time due to changing interfacial properties. The project will also develop and implement microenvironments for live cell based experiments with biology groups at Oxford. These collaborations will focus on developing in-vitro experiments to recapitulate 1) microenvironments for bone cancer and 2) neuron interactions via axons in the brain. 

Before applying for this position student should contact the intended supervisor Prof. E. Walsh at .

To apply for this studentship, candidates should send the following documents to :

  • CV
  • Covering letter (explaining your suitability for the study and a summary of your experience to date)
  • Contact details for two academic or professional referees

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof. Edmond Walsh []. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

Award Value

The studentship includes UK home-fees plus a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) of £18,622 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further 2.5 years. Home students fees will apply for most Republic of Ireland passport holders.


Walsh, E. J. et al. Nature Communications 8, (2017).
Soitu, C. et al. Proc Natl Academy Sci USA 115, E5926–E5933 (2018).
Soitu, C. et al. Sci Adv 5, 8002–8007 (2019).
Soitu, C. et al. Adv Sci 7, 2001854 (2020).
Deroy, C. et al. Adv Mater Technol 7, 2200279 (2022).
Deroy, C. et al. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 14, 25209–25219 (2022).
Oliveira, N. M. et al. Nature Communications 13, (2022).
Nebuloni, F., et al. J Fluid Mech 969, A28 (2023).

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